Lake Trout Distribution
The natural range of the Lake Trout covers most of Canada as well as the Great Lake states, Alaska and some of the western states.
Specifically they can be found from Quebec, the Maritime Provinces and Labrador in the east, then moving south through New York and west across the north-central United States and all of Canada to British Columbia and Alaska in the west.
The Lake Trout is widely abundant in Canada’s north including the territories of Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. This is where some of the largest Lake Trout are found in abundance. It’s also one of the few freshwater game fish found inside the arctic circle.
Prior to the settlement of North America from Europe, there were 12 to 13 distinct populations of Lake Trout that were native to Lake Superior. However after several hundred years of over-fishing, there are only 3 that remain.
Invasive Sea Lamprey
Lake Trout populations were greatly culled with the introduction of the Sea Lamprey into the Great Lakes watershed. By late 1940 the Lake Trout population had been decimated and a large commercial fishing contributed to the elimination of many distinct populations.
While the Sea Lamprey is native to North America, it was limited to the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlaine prior to the European immigration.
Lake trout spend their entire lives in lakes, staying deep and often near the bottom. Lake many predatory fish, they locate themselves near structures when they are not seeking out food. When they’re hungry, they will wander about for prey, adjusting their depth to match where the prey fish are located.
Lake Trout enjoy zooplankton, insect larvae, small crustaceans, clams, snails, leeches and most bait fish. They will even eat their own kind.